What is a Garage Suite?
A garage suite (also known as a garden suite) is an individual apartment usually located away from the main building of the home, typically used as a rental or an in-law suite. This makes garage suites a great fit for a multigenerational family or someone who wants a little help with the monthly mortgage payment. Investors also love them because they get two rental units for the price of one property!
These can either be built above an existing garage or as a completely separate structure within the garden. These suites create an affordable way for renters to move into more urban areas and give more privacy to family members.
Where Can I Build Garage Suites?
Until recently, garden suites were only allowed in certain lots, such as corner lots or those next to commercial areas. However, recent changes to the city bylaws have made it much easier to build a separate suite on your property.
Under the new laws, garden suites can be built in most low-density residential lots. If you know which zone your home is in, you can use this guide to check if you’re eligible. If you don’t, you can enter your address into this map to find zoning information for your home.
How Much Does A Garden Suite Cost To Build?
The cost to build garage suites can vary depending on the size and complexity of the build, but as a general rule, the minimum cost starts from around the mid to high $100,000’s.
What Are The Benefits Of A Garage Suite?
Depending on what you intend to use your garage suite for, there are a wide variety of benefits, such as:
- Earning extra income. You can build a garden suite on your property and rent it out. You can then put this extra income towards paying off your mortgage faster, saving for a rainy day or simply having some more spending money every month.
- Family members who want some more independence. If you’re a multigenerational household, you might be living with older parents who want some more independence or privacy. A garden suite is a great way to have everyone living in the same household, but with a feeling of having your own space.
- Keep your suite separate. Because a garage or garden suite is physically separate from the main building of your home, you and your tenant won’t have to worry about any of the common issues people face when living under the same roof, such as noise, cooking smells or disturbing others when entering or leaving.
- You’ll still have use of your garage. If you build a suite above your garage, you’ll still be able to use it while also keeping all the benefits of having an extra suite.
Building A Garage Suite As An Investment Property
A garage suite is a great idea for an investment property – separate private suites are often more desirable than renting a basement, for example. On top of this, if you’re buying a property solely as an investment, it’s an opportunity to earn a second income from the same property. The sooner you pay off your mortgage principal and start earning equity, the faster the suite pays for itself.
As these types of suites have only recently been allowed, Sterling Homes doesn’t yet build garage suites. However, we’re just beginning to lay the groundwork for above-garage options. Sterling Homes Edmonton is looking into this on an accommodation basis, as well as at a pre-planned option to fill in this request in the future.
Now that you have some idea of what will be required for a garage suite, you can decide if this is on your list of wants for a new home. We suggest weighing the options of a garage and basement suite to help you decide what’s best for your unique needs.